A week from now, if not sooner, I will be giving birth to my fourth child.
After you have had approximately two kids, people start assuming you are a professional. You go to the hospital and the nurses don’t even bother to explain things anymore. “Oh, you know what you are doing,” they say. “This should be easy by now.” they joke. As though giving birth is something that could ever just become second nature.
Sure, I’m less likely to call 911 when my newborn hiccups because holy shit did you see how her chest just caved in like that? Is that normal? I also probably won’t sterilize everything in the house this time around, be afraid to dress him, or refuse to even touch his head out of fontanel piercing paranoia.
Doesn’t mean I’m not still terrified of labor. Doesn’t mean I don’t want them to explain things to me and perhaps comfort me from time to time. I mean, sure, I DO know what I’m doing in some respects. More so than some of the first-timer’s anyway. But every labor is different and, lets face it, it’s an incredibly hard, and somewhat terrifying task. No matter how good the reward. No matter how many times you have accomplished it.
That’s why nature made it so that the last few weeks are so simply miserable, I suppose, because let’s face it, most of us, when it gets close to the end, we get to the point where we just want the baby OUT. NOW.
But, I know for me, at that last minute, when the contractions start up and you remember that pain, and you suddenly remember in detail just what exactly you are about to go through, well, I admit it, I changed my mind.
Nope, sorry, I’d rather not have a baby, thanks. I’m just going to go home now, OK?
So here I am, at the end of this journey, about at the point of discomfort where I’d go through anything to just NOT be pregnant anymore. But not quite. A little more scared than a first timer in some ways, I think, because, damn it, I had some REAL contractions the other day. And I remembered.
And my inner dialog went something like: Oh shit oh shit ohSHIT. I’m not ready!
And the universe replied: Ready or not…it’s coming.